Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Elements of Happiness: Quack Like a Duck

I wrote this post awhile back expressing a truth (in my opinion) that happiness is one's own responsibility. That's nicely stated, but what does it really mean? If you agree to take the responsibility, then what? I've created a 6-part series exploring the key elements to being happy. The typed words illuminating from your screen will be simple, but the true illumination comes from putting those words into action. Making an effort may change your life, or it may be an entertaining spectacle of a subject I pretend to know something about.

Actually, my own journey has been one of discovering the meaning of true happiness for my own purpose and sanity. Happiness holds different meaning to different people, but I think the 6 elements I have chosen to focus on are universal in application. I hope you are able to take away something meaningful from the upcoming weeks.

Quack Like a Duck
The primary catalyst stealing away our happiness is when something doesn't go our way. We think people or situations should go a certain way, and when they don't we get upset and take offense. WE MUST STOP THE INSANITY! Recognize that disappointments are part of life and we control very little, especially where others are involved. We can accept this on a rational level, but what happens when our blood begins to boil when someone cuts us off on the highway, or when we fantasize about telling off the phone company because they increased the monthly rate for less service? We become irrational and emotions take over and we get our panties all in a twist! We can't help it, or can we?

For the sake of your own peace, you have got to STOP TAKING OFFENSE. We can learn a lot from those ducks on the pond. We've got to be like them in a sense that we have to let issues roll off our backs. And we do it, not because it's easy or because we're not upset, but because we need to finally recognize that the issue isn't as big as we think it is at that very moment, in the eye of the emotional storm. You've got to start letting things go; I can't put it in simpler terms than that. Mellow more and keep your peace. Shrug your shoulders and keep your peace. Don't take offense and keep your peace.
"We should be too big to take offense and too noble to give it."
                                                                                                - Abraham Lincoln

It won't be easy. I was standing at the seafood counter at our grocery store waiting for the fish monger to come to the case from the backroom. Another woman walked right up to the case as he was walking out and he asked, "OK, who's next?" Before I could get a word out she immediately started telling him her order and I just stood there. Was my blood boiling? You betcha! Was I having horrible thoughts about this woman? You got it! But then, I stopped. Do you know what I said? You won't believe it. I said to myself, "God bless her for she knows not what she does." And you know what? She really didn't have a clue of those around her. Today, people rarely do. I know this because as she walked away she looked at me, almost startled to see me standing there, and said, "Oh, I thought you were already taken care of, sorry." 

See? 95% of the time, people rarely make an effort to upset you on purpose. Today, people just aren't that aware and, frankly, are too self-centered to be thinking how they can ruin your day. So, the next time you want to get upset, don't ruffle your feathers. Quack like a duck and let it roll off. Do this enough times and it becomes part of your nature. It becomes one element of your happiness.

I hope you join me each Tuesday and Thursday for the next 3 weeks for this special series: Elements of Happiness.

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Suzan Wood-Young said...

Timely as ever Lilly! I'm sensitive to criticism myself and I had an experience at the dog park this morning (coincidentally where there are many ducks). Someone made a comment to me and I consciously decided not to be offended. Hoping it's the beginning of a trend!

Bianca said...

Great post. I too have always believed that happiness is one's own responsibility. Yet lately I seem to have been more affected but a few people's comments or lack of. I tend to analyse and theorise about what makes me happy with a need need to understand and justify your quest for happiness hence why I have been a little lost in why certain people have been behaving a certain way towards me....But great points raise in your blog post.


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